magic and letters to Santa
In this house, we believe in the magic of Christmas. From our little elf, “Snowball” who magically shows up in a different place each morning after reporting in to Santa each evening about the kids, to the tiny mail we receive from Santa’s elves about magical events in our back yard, to the big guy himself – and all that his spirit brings to Christmas.
It’s incredibly important to me that my kids feel and believe in magic. I think it opens doors in their imaginations, and keeps their minds alive to possibilities outside of our little ‘box’. I love that they think about the world and life as bigger than just us. I love that there are unanswered questions, left to their own minds and hearts to sort out. We also teach our kids about our beliefs around Christmas, and that it’s Jesus’ birthday. Matt is still trying to figure out if God created dinosaurs and if he decided we needed Jesus after he saw cave men and why he chose the winter when it was so cold to have Jesus’ birthday. It makes us laugh, but seeing him working it all out in his own way is incredible. And I think that’s a good thing. Believing in something you can’t touch or hold or play with – that’s incredibly powerful. The day that one of them comes home crushed by someone’s assertion that Santa or the magic of Christmas isn’t real, is a day that I am loath to think about (though I know, sadly, that it will come). There is so much that’s commercialized and plastic in the world – I just believe that our kids imaginations need to be protected to flourish as long as possible.
Enter my obsession with Christmas.
I LOVE Christmas. I love the lights, the trees, the baking, the family and friends, the excitement around Santa and parades and events, the feeling of community, the nativity and stories of the first Christmas, the lessons of giving… all of it. But I especially love our little family in quiet moments – together with no work or school or soccer or classes – just being.
So this Christmas, because we’re so busy all the time, we decided to do two special things as a family each day. The first is read a new story each day as a sort of a different version of an advent calendar (I’ll post about that later). The second is a Christmas craft each day. On the first day the kids made little elves out of TP rolls.
On the second day we took out all my Christmas stamps and created our own letters to Santa. They all took the stamping very seriously. Matt was determined to write his letter himself. He wanted to make sure he told Santa to have a good Christmas and he thought it would be important to write in silver so that Santa would enjoy reading his letter. Cam helped him spell some of the words and Matt was thrilled to be such a big boy making his own letter. The girls followed suit – writing “abcds” – as they called them – to Santa. Unfortunately I wasn’t sure if the Santa would be able to read the girls letters (even though they talked out loud as they “wrote” each word “dear santa… I like you Santa…i want a” So I asked them if I could write a translation for them on the other side just in case, they held the markers with me as we re-wrote all of their words into something Santa might better understand. They folded up their letters – licked their envelopes and put them on our desk and tonight we’ll go and mail them together. They literally danced upstairs to bath time afterwards.
Yesterday was the third day – I was working late but Cam baked Christmas cookies with the kids and kept the one creation a day theme going (so awesome). Tonight we’ll make felt trees as ornaments … and tomorrow we’ll put up the Christmas tree on Matty’s birthday – as he likes to do after dinner on his birthday each year.